Bastian Schweinsteiger signs for Chicago Fire
Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has signed for MLS side Chicago Fire – with a finalised move mooted for next week.
The German World Cup winner, largely out of favour at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho, has penned a one-year deal subject to a medical and visa.
" I have enjoyed working with the manager, the players and staff here and wish them all the best in the future. But I have to reserve special thanks to the United fans – whose support has been a very special part of my time in Manchester."
Schweinsteiger made just four appearances for United this season, scoring one goal, after forcing his way back from exile and into the first team squad.
The 32-year-old will apparently earn $4.5 million (£3.6m) through his designated player contract in 2017 after the American club confirmed the move on their website.
"We know it's going to take some time and adjustment for him coming to the new league, new coaching staff and everything. We also know we can rely on his capacity to adapt and do that fast," said Fire coach Veljko Paunovic.
" He can produce actions that few players in the world can do. He sees (things) that nobody sees. He opens the eyes of the fans, where you can hear the people say, 'Wow!'."
The MLS season is three games old, with Fire sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference.
2014 World Cup: Germany talisman Bastian Schweinsteiger kisses the trophyReuters
"We’re adding someone who has won at every level, including the very highest levels, and has done so in a way that is consistent with our values," Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez added.
"We as a club will now be forced to hold ourselves to a higher standard, an accountability level. Previously, I think we could satisfy ourselves with what is known domestically. Now we need to rise to a standard that is set more internationally."
Schweinsteiger won 121 caps for Germany, scoring 24 goals, before retiring from international football last summer - the highlight coming in the victorious 2014 World Cup campaign.